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The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

Uploaded by CaseyP on Jun 06, 2017

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
The Armenian Genocide, alias the Armenian Holocaust, is a 1915 massacre that was aimed at getting rid of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. The numbers of the people killed during the event varies between sources; however, most historians agree that approximately two million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire during the time of the massacre (Anderson 483). Nevertheless, the Turkish government has denied responsibility for the event. In fact, the Turkish Historical Society, in an official government report, referred to the slaughters of Armenians, which occurred between 1914 and 1918 as relocations that were associated with some unforeseen incidents (Tunca 56). Fundamentally, The Bastard of Istanbul is a 2006 novel by Turkish bestselling author Elif Shafak; it is set in the United States and Turkey and although it is fictional, it confronts Turkey’s violent past, particularly at the time the Armenian Holocaust. The book’s main characters include Asya, a nineteen-year-old Turkish woman, and the Kazanci sisters who all cohabitate in an extended household in Istanbul. Zehila, the youngest of the sisters and Asya’s mother, runs a tattoo parlor. The other sisters include Banu, a clairvoyant, Feride, a hypochondriac, and Cevriye, who is a widowed high school teacher. Inherently, the Kazanci’s have an estranged brother who lives in Arizona with his Armenian daughter called Armanoush. One day, Armanoush secretly flies to Istanbul in search of her family roots, meets her relatives, and becomes quick friends with Asya. It is during this time that a secret is uncovered, which ties them to the deportations and massacres that occurred during the 1915 Armenian Holocaust. Intrinsically, most of the details of the killings are revealed through the conversations of Asya and Armanoush, as the two discuss identity, memory, the Turks ignorance of the massacres of Armenians during the 1915 Holocaust, and whether it is possible to shake off the truth (Tunca 55). In essence, The Bastard of Istanbul is aimed at illuminating the true horrors of the Armenian Holocaust, which the Turkish government has turned a blind eye to over the year.
Notably, Shafak is focused on exposing the hypocrisy of her people, Turks, towards the Armenian Holocaust. The initial trace of this agenda is depicted through Armanoush. Interestingly, Armanoush is the daughter of an American mother and an Armenian mother, but she was raised by a Turkish stepfather named Mustafa. She feels that Mustafa is...

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Uploaded by:   CaseyP

Date:   06/06/2017

Category:   Literature

Length:   7 pages (1,594 words)

Views:   768

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